Octavia film-maker collects UN awards

Thursday 10 November 2011

Congratulations to Chris Lamontagne, 20, who collected two prestugious awards from the Plural+ Youth Media Video Festival at the Paley Centre in New York, last night (Thursday 10 November), an international youth video festival established by the United Nations Association of Civilizations (UNAOC).

Chris has won the ‘Plural + Roots & Routes Award’ and the ‘Plural+ Scalabrini International Network Award’ for ‘Black to Yellow’ a powerful short film that addresses issues of class, stereotyping and individuality.

‘Black to Yellow’ was conceived, written and directed by Chris, who also appears in the film, during his participation in ‘Breaking into the Museum’ a creative trans-national initiative devised and led by Manifesta. The project took place at the Museum of London in June 2010, with support from the Octavia Foundation and St Charles College and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The three minute film is a spoken word performance, set against footage and experiences from Chris’s visit to the Museum of London as part of ‘Breaking into the Museum’, focusing on one of the museum’s exhibits – ‘Charles Booth’s Descriptive Map of London Poverty, 1889’.

Black and Yellow

On receiving the awards, Chris who is now studying a photography degree at Anglia Ruskin University explained,

Winning this prize has changed everything for me. I always knew that I wanted to work in creative arts- that’s why I’m studying photography - and to produce work that affects people and challenges them to think of things in new ways. 

Winning these awards and the opportunity to travel to New York has shown the impact that my film has had – it’s been a huge confidence boost to me. Now I know that my voice has been heard and the message of the film has been recognised I feel that anything is possible, the future is bright! I think the outlook for young people has been painted as pretty bleak recently – because of the cuts and changes to uni funding – I hope other people will see what I’ve managed to achieve within this industry and grasp opportunities like I did.

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